Culture Shock?

I’m a bit concerned what returning back to the US will be like for me. I’ve been in Europe for 2 ½ months, and have adjusted quite well to living that life.

Things I haven’t missed:

–       My cell phone: I don’t even remember what it sounds like when it rings. I haven’t been tied to it, or wondering where it is when I leave the house, etc. What a freeing feeling that has been! –       Being on the go: I have been somewhat the past 3 weeks with Ajith, but overall this trip has been super relaxing.

–       Processed foods: It’s still amazing to me how fresh and tasty foods in Europe are. I know this will be something that I will try to keep up with, but know it will be challenging.

–       Driving a car.

–       Seattle and the life I had there

–       Large stores like Target. I never realized quite how commercialized America is until being away from it. It’s great to get back to the simple things in life.

–       The loudness of America. I know that sounds weird, but in general I’ve noticed other cultures are more quiet and reserved. Specifically, the airport in Munich was insanely quiet, and I remember this also from the last layover in Germany I had a few years back. It really demonstrated how loud Americans are in general, especially the airports.

Things I have missed (yes, I’m going to sound high maintenance):

–       A large shower with good water pressure (though I’ve been lucky recently and have had good showers in hotels)

–       Shaving my legs regularly (see above)

–       Using my own hair dryer

–       Doing laundry in (1 ½ hours) with a dryer!

–       A pedicure because my feet get callused quickly. They are really in need considering all the walking I’ve done.

–       Getting my eye brows waxed. I always feel fresh and clean when I do this for some reason.

–       Being able to talk about my feelings with new people I’ve met –       Seeing friends and family (though Skype has helped!)

–       Cooking at home

–       My cat, Snickers (though I don’t get to see her until Dec. 27 when I arrive back in Seattle)

–       Earning money (rather than spending it)

–       American holidays and the seasons. I love fall, and missed all the fun that comes during that time of year (Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino from Starbuck’s), Halloween, the cooling of the weather, the ‘fall’ smell in stores

–       The big chain stores like Target. Yes, it’s in the things I didn’t miss, but it also made this list because I realize how convenient they are, and how accessible things are.

Things I will miss:

–       Being carefree without thinking twice

–       Eating pasta daily (just because I was in Italy I felt obligated to!)

–       Gelato*

–       Peach Iced Tea*

–       Kinder Bueno*

*Note I didn’t eat these things all that often, but when I did, I really enjoyed them!

–       Speaking and hearing the Italian language daily

–       Being a student. That may sound weird, but there is something I miss about it. I don’t have any desire to move forward with any further education (my Master’s is enough) but it was a nice change to be on the flip side.

–       The warm, sunny Mediterranean weather

–       Riding public transportation. It was a fun change and challenge for me trying to figure out where to go and how to go. I like also seeing a variety of people who ride it.–       The morning call to prayer in Istanbul. It let me know what time it was, and signaled I should get up

–       The gorgeous lamps in Istanbul (this photo doesn’t do justice to their beauty)–       The beauty of Santorini –       Spending time with Ajith discovering new things

–       Being surrounded by so many different cultures all at once.

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